Section 1: Prevalence of Disabilities
1.5. How many people have a mental disorder?
The Epidemiologic Catchment Area Survey (ECA) estimated 28.1%, or 51.3 million people in the community and in institutional settings in the United States had a mental disorder in any given 1-year period. About 2.8% of the adult population (or 5 million people) experience severe mental disorders in a 1-year period.
The 1989 NHIS estimates that 1.8% (3.3 million people) have a serious mental illness. It also found that 78.8% (2.6 million) are currently limited by this serious mental illness.
More than one in four people has a mental disorder in any year.
Source: Bourdon, et al, 1994; National Advisory Mental Health Council, 1993; Barker, et al, 1992
Survey: ECA, 1980-1985; NHIS 1989